The UKM actor is Chocolate nDalem which has a business in Yogyakarta (Jogja). In this article, Chocolate nDalem will share what experiences have been through, especially in developing its business. Let’s learn from them.
Early Journey to the Chocolate Market
The origin of the story about nDalem Chocolate is actually ordinary, that is, it started with a young couple who had just married and wanted to have a business. NDalem Chocolate was built by Meika Hazim and Wednesday Aria Yuda in 2013. The term which is quite common today is a couple of preneur.
Before building nDalem Chocolate, the first thing they both did was research the existing market. In Indonesia, Jogja is the second most famous City of Culture and Tourism after Bali. This can be seen from a large number of visitors to Jogja who travel. Each tourist area certainly has souvenirs or souvenirs that can be brought home. This is where the research on nDalem Chocolate comes from.
By looking at patterns on social media, Meika and Yuda found that chocolate was a keyword that often appeared among netizens visiting Jogja. And the chocolate market seems to still be accessible to businesses they want to build.
Armed with knowledge from the campus where Yuda is a Food Technology graduate of Gadjah Mada University and Meika is a Gadjah Mada University Master of Management graduate, then they both started to build and develop the chocolate concept they wanted to offer.
Accentuating the Excellence of Taste Variants
Luckily, this couple both come from families that are closely related to Javanese culture. So this inspired both of them to later build chocolate with a brand image that is closely related to Javanese culture.
They wanted to combine chocolate with Javanese flavors and stories about Javanese culture. So the first 9 flavors of nDalem Chocolate were born, namely Classical Linirasa: Extra Dark, Dark and Less Sugar Dark which is illustrated with Javanese wedding batik, then there is a Spicy Linirasa variant decorated with puppet illustrations with comic touches, as well as a Linirasa Rempahnesia variant decorated with warrior illustrations. Kraton.
Taking the philosophy that each packaging is not just a chocolate wrapper, but will also be able to tell about the cultural features in Jogja. Chocolate nDalem takes a clear positioning, namely chocolate that tells stories, and chocolate that can lure people to chat.
Currently, the nDalem Chocolate brand already has 25 flavors. There are additional Kopinesia Linirasa, namely chocolate with coffee bean infusion from 6 Indonesian coffee-producing regions, Linirasa Wedangan Chocolate which is chocolate with the taste of wedang bajigur, wedang ronde and wedang uwuh, then green tea, and the latest creation of the Chocolate brand nDalem is Fruit Linirasa Chocolate with illustrations Indonesian boy dolanan.
Motivation to Promote Original Indonesian Chocolate
Time passed and the market welcomed nDalem Chocolate as a chocolate bar player in Jogja along with several other brands. However, the unique nDalem Chocolate concept has earned it a lot of attention from several parties.
And one of them is the DIY Agriculture and Forestry Service. Chocolate nDalem often gets invitations to do business talks and share stories about nDalem Chocolate to many parties. Until one day, Chocolate nDalem was asked to tell a story about chocolate in front of cocoa farmers in DIY. And it was in this forum that an intriguing question arose from a farmer from Gunung Kidul. The question is: “Why not make chocolate directly from farmers’ beans so you can buy directly from farmers”.
At that time, Yuda, who acted as the Head of Research and Development (R & D) at nDalem Chocolate, could not tell much, because it was indeed more difficult to process chocolate directly from cocoa beans from farmers.
The Process Chocolate from Cocoa Beans
In the world of chocolate at that time, there were more SMEs that made chocolate from semi-finished raw materials from manufacturers. This is because the process to process chocolate from cocoa beans directly requires a large machine investment and is expensive.
It took a year for Yuda to learn about processing chocolate directly from the beans which can be done on a small scale. Yuda was assisted by the support of a chocolate expert from the Netherlands named Piet Brinkman. Pak Piet came to Jogja with support from PUM Netherland, a non-profit organization that provides opportunities for experts in the Netherlands to be able to help SMEs in developing countries.
nDalem Chocolate shows the value of excellence
Assisted by Pak Piet, nDalem Chocolate finally has a second brand called Boenbens., Which means cocoa beans from kebon. With this brand, nDalem Chocolate shows the value of excellence in terms of chocolate that is sourced directly from Indonesian farmers. So this was built as a form of awareness to be able to process chocolate to have more impact on the community, especially cocoa farmers.
Good Quality Cocoa Beans from The Farmer’s
Boenbeans’ journey to becoming the second brand at the same time brings nDalem Chocolate into a deeper realm because apparently there are so many things that must be considered to be able to make good chocolate. And this is closely related to the good quality of cocoa beans from the farmer’s point of view.
This made Yuda have to learn a lot about post-harvest cocoa. And it turns out that the challenges are not only in terms of the process but also on the social side of the community in farmers. Because it turns out that there are quite a lot of problems experienced by farmers in order to produce good cocoa beans. And not all of these obstacles are only related to technical matters.